Yaya DaCosta (born Camara DaCosta Johnson) was born on November 15, 1982, in Harlem, New York, and is an American actress and fashion model. She was the runner-up in Cycle 3 of America's Next Top Model.
DaCosta was born on November 15, 1982 in Harlem, New York and is of African American, Brazilian, and Nigerian descent. In addition to English, she can speak Portuguese, French, Spanish, and conversational Japanese. She attended the elite Northfield Mount Hermon School during her high school years before attending college where she majored in Africana Studies and International Relations at Brown University.
On June 26, 2012, DaCosta married independent movie producer and director Joshua Bee Alafia. Following her marriage, she began publicly going by Yaya Alafia. She gave birth to the couple's first child, a son named Sankara, in September 2013.
After finishing second on Cycle 3 of America's Next Top Model, DaCosta went on to have a successful career. DaCosta only appeared once in the bottom two during the competition. She has appeared in advertisements for Garnier Fructis, Lincoln Townhouse, Oil of Olay, Radioshack, Seda, Sephora and Dr. Scholl's.
DaCosta began acting in 2005 after having a guest role on an episode of the television show Eve. She then starred opposite Rob Brown, Antonio Banderas and Alfre Woodard in the 2006 dance film Take the Lead. DaCosta had supporting roles in the independent films Honeydripper (2007) and The Messenger (2009).
She appeared on All My Children in 2008 as Cassandra Foster, the daughter of Angie Hubbard. According to an interview with All My Children's new head writer, Charles Pratt, Jr., DaCosta exited the role some time in August 2008, less than four months after joining the show, to join the cast of "The First Breeze of Summer" on Broadway. "The First Breeze of Summer" was presented from 2008–2009 by the historic Negro Ensemble Company.
In 2009, she portrayed Nico Slater, the daughter of Wilhelmina Slater on the 4th season of the ABC series, Ugly Betty.
In 2010 DaCosta had supporting roles in the films The Kids Are All Right and Tron: Legacy. During the same year she appeared in American Vogue, L'Officiel and on the cover of W.
In 2013 she also appeared as Carol in the film The Butler, starring Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey.
It was announced in an interview with actress Angela Bassett on CNN that DaCosta will portray musical icon Whitney Houston in a Lifetime television film about her life, which will be the directorial debut of Angela Bassett.